the short story project


Mourning Pangolin 

It was Thanksgiving, the day I witnessed my little brother’s death, which was ironically the day I died. You may be thinking ‘how did you write this?’, in fact, I wrote this five minutes before I took my own life from my hands. Let me start from the beginning; my name is Josie Chal and I am a sophomore at American Liberty High School. I live in a small town called Tulip Stone way, where everybody knows each other, where crimes are bound to occur. My family would describe me as a pangolin as they are shy and quite unique animals. My mother, Marie Chal, is a mysterious person owing to the fact that she collects dolls, antiques, and hangs up dark paintings on our walls. My brother and father, Brad and Todd Chal are what you call ´normal’, or, so we thought.

¨Today¨ is Halloween, I am currently taking my little brother and his classmates to go trick or treating. Like a shot, there was a slight squealing noise almost right behind me. I slightly turn my head southeast and I can see a pale, six-foot-tall man, dressed in a grim reaper costume wrapping his hands around my little brother’s neck. I can almost see Brad’s eyes rolling to the back of his head as if his life was slowly drifting away. It takes me a while to realize that I’m blinded by my own tears and practically wailing, banging my knees on the concrete floor. I can see the warm red blood dripping down my calves and the psychotic man running away with my brother hanging on his shoulders. I can’t imagine explaining this tragedy to my heartbroken family. As I am walking home, I let my shoulders droop over and I feel like I am about to explode. As of right now, I can see white specks comparable to stars, just as I reach over to grab one… my alarm clock goes off and my brother storms into my room. Thank god it was just a dream, but the real nightmare is bound to come…high school!

I would say I am a pretty great student, but my “friends” and teachers think differently. High school is where teachers constantly judge me, bullies target me, and tragedies happen. “Excuse me miss, are you heading somewhere?” I drop all of my textbooks as the voice of the same man that appeared in my dream startles me. “Oh yeah, the office kinda called me,” I reply cautiously while gathering my books, I don’t think that guy works here. I couldn’t stop looking behind me, there was this eerie feeling that caused my neck hairs to rise, almost like someone was watching me from behind the lockers. As I slowly open the office door, my alcoholic mother was standing there just staring at me. She tells me that I have to go “somewhere” very important, which shockingly makes me terrified of my own mom.

The car ride was very awkward and disturbing, I didn’t know what to think when Marie, yes I will call her Marie, started playing something that sounded like a group of people chanting. I stared out the window for the entire thirty-minute ride, full of anxiety and desire to figure out the destination. We hop outside the car and I looked up to see an abandoned warehouse that you typically only see in horror movies. Moreover, I started breathing heavily and sweating uncontrollably when I see a large crowd of people wearing black hoods staring at me through the window. I can spot Brad, Marie, and Todd (my whole family) How did my mother get there so fast? What is happening…is this a dream also? I thought. This is all that can get through my mind as of right now.

“Come inside, come inside, come inside, come inside!” everybody chants louder and louder, faster and faster. Am I going crazy, is this really happening? No! No! NO! This has to be a dream! My father puts a black hood, identical to everyone else’s, on my head and the ‘cult’ brings out a man wrapped up in ropes into a circle of dim candles. Are they crazy? Why is there a man tied up in ropes? More importantly, how can my family join a cult without consulting me? Soon enough, I hear a horrifying scream of the man as they are slicing his stomach open for blood. They tell me to grab a chalice and fill it with the human blood to give to their ‘leader’, but one man was not enough.

When I remove the black bag covering the next victim’s head, it turns out to be my little brother, Brad. OH, How could they do this to me? Is this some sort of set up? Please be a joke… Don’t murder my brother! PLEASE. Now, I see the razor-sharp blade coming closer to my brother’s bare stomach, as he is squirming and screaming. “How much of an insensitive mother can you be? PLEASE STOP! HE HAS SO MUCH TO LIVE FOR! FIND SOMEONE ELSE TO CUT UP! NO!” I can not stop yelling at my mother’s stone-cold face. There he is, lying dead on the bloody floor next to the filled chalice. Everyone is cheering as a man in another hood walks to the center and grabs the chalice. Who is this dreadful man that took everything away from me? As he is drinking the blood, I run up to tear off his nasty cape and see the same man that was at school and in my dream.

I run back to the car and to take out a pocket-knife from inside the trunk, and now we are back where we started! In a moment, I will be taking my own life as I can not bear the pain of my long-lost younger brother. I will die being a “mourning” Pangolin, please do not miss me too much and tell my story to the school. Maybe they will care about me now that I am gone forever.



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